Ernesto disorganized; more fires, extreme heat for Oklahoma

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:25 PM GMT on August 05, 2012

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A disorganized Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to speed westward at 23 mph across the Caribbean. Ernesto has brought sporadic heavy rains to Jamaica today, and Kingston has picked up 0.51" of rain as of noon, and recorded top sustained winds of 22 mph. Ernesto looks very unhealthy on visible satellite loops, with its low-level circulation center a naked swirl exposed to view with almost no heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. However, the storm does have some rather far-flung spiral bands, and these bands are bringing occasional heavy downpours to Haiti, western Cuba, Jamaica, and the southwest Dominican Republic. This morning's flight by the Hurricane Hunters found that Ernesto had a very high central pressure of 1006 mb and top winds near 50 mph. The latest wind shear analysis from the SHIPS model shows moderate shear of 10 - 15 knots affecting the storm, but there must be some wind shear the satellites are not able to detect affecting Ernesto, given its disorganized appearance. Water vapor satellite loops show a large area of dry air to the west, and this dry air is also interfering with Ernesto's organization.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image with 375 meter resolution taken of Ernesto by the new Suomi NPP satellite at 1:39 pm EDT August 4, 2012. At the time, Ernesto had a flare-up of intense thunderstorms, and had top winds of 60 mph. Image credit: University of Wisconsin Madison CIMSS.

Forecast for Ernesto
Ernesto's rapid forward speed of 23 mph has been part of the reason for its lack of intensification, but the storm is expected to slow down Monday and Tuesday in response to a trough of low pressure passing to the north. This slowing, in combination with low wind shear, a moister environment, and increasing heat energy in the ocean, may allow Ernesto to strengthen some before making landfall in Belize or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday night. However, the storm will be passing very close to the north coast of Honduras, putting a portion of its circulation over land and limiting intensification potential. It is unlikely Ernesto will become a hurricane in the Caribbean; NHC is giving just a 19% chance that this will occur. The main threat from Ernesto will be heavy rains over Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and Jamaica. The track forecast for Ernesto has become a bit easier, since the storm's current disorganization and more southerly path make will make it more difficult for the storm to make a northwesterly turn into the Gulf of Mexico like the UKMET and GFDL models are predicting. A stronger Ernesto would have been more likely to turn northwest under the influence of a trough of low pressure passing to the north. If Ernesto survives its crossing of the Yucatan Peninsula, the potential exists for it to re-strengthen over the Bay of Campeche, and make a second landfall on Mexico's coast on Friday, between Tampico and Veracruz. It's pretty unlikely that Ernesto will hit the U.S.-- though Brownsville, Texas could see some rain from Ernesto's outer spiral bands on Friday, if the storm survives that long.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Ernesto, showing the exposed low-level center--a swirl due south of Jamaica--and only very limited heavy thunderstorm activity surrounding the center.

Tropical Storm Florence
Tropical Storm Florence continues to plow westward at 14 mph over the Eastern Atlantic, and is not a threat to any land areas for next five days. The SHIPS model is predicting a moderate 5 - 15 knots of wind shear for Florence Sunday and Monday, but the shear will increase to the high range as Florence encounters an upper-level trough of low pressure on Tuesday. The latest Saharan Air Layer Analysis shows that a large area of dry air lies to the north and west of Florence, and this dry air will likely cause problems for the storm. Ocean temperature are near 26 - 26.5°C, which is right at the threshold for where a tropical storm can typically exist. It is possible that Florence could pose a threat to Bermuda next weekend, if the storm survives that long. Both the GFS and ECMWF models dissipate Florence before then.

Historic heat wave in Oklahoma
A second day of destructive fires affected Oklahoma on Saturday, thanks to extreme heat and drought, low humidities, and strong winds in advance of an approaching cold front. At 3 pm CDT Saturday, Oklahoma City had a temperature of 107°, a humidity of 19%, and winds of 16 mph gusting to 22 mph. The Oklahoma fires have destroyed at least 125 homes. The high temperature in Oklahoma City on Saturday reached 109°, the 12th warmest temperature recorded in the city since records began in 1891. Friday's high of 113° tied for the warmest temperature in city history.


Figure 3. Highway 48 is covered in smoke as flames continue, Saturday, Aug 4, 2012, east of Drumright, OK. Image credit: Associated Press.

The only comparable Oklahoma heat wave: August 1936
The only heat wave in Oklahoma history that compares to the August 2012 heat wave occurred during the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936, the hottest summer in U.S. history. Oklahoma City experienced three days at 110° that summer, and a record streak of 22 straight days with a temperature of 100° or hotter. Those numbers are comparable to 2012's: three days at 110° or hotter, and a string of 18 consecutive days (so far) with temperatures of 100° or hotter. The weak cold front that passed though Oklahoma Saturday will bring temperatures about 10° cooler over the next few days, but high temperatures are still expected to approach 100° in Oklahoma City Sunday through Tuesday. It's worth noting that Oklahoma City has experienced only 11 days since 1890 with a high of 110° or greater. Three of those days were in 2011, three in 2012, and three in the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a new post on July's heat extremes in the U.S.


Figure 4. Most of Oklahoma has experienced nine consecutive days with highs of 100° or more, and many regions, including Oklahoma City, have had a streak of eighteen such days. Image credit: Oklahoma Mesonet.

Severe thunderstorm complex forces evacuation of Lollapalooza
A organized complex of severe thunderstorms developed over Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois late Saturday afternoon, forming a dangerous bow echo that swept through Chicago, forcing the evacuation of the Lollapalooza music festival. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logged over 150 reports of wind damage from the storm, with five of the thunderstorms containing winds in excess of hurricane force (74 mph.) And just yesterday, my daughter was bemoaning her misfortune at not being able to get tickets to the show! The thunderstorm complex traveled about 300 miles from Eastern Iowa to Ohio, generating winds gust in excess of 58 mph along most of its path, meeting the definition of a derecho.


Figure 5. Radar image of the severe thunderstorm complex that spawned a dangerous bow echo over Chicago, which forced the evacuation of the Lollapalooza music festival.

Jeff Masters

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM (nanamac)
Storm clouds overwhelming Chicago
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM (nanamac)
Sheets of rain & darkness!
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
()
Storm damage (Bubbly)
Straight line winds during a severe thunderstorm left crumpled metal and splintered wood behind in Frytown, Iowa
Storm damage

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Quoting moonlightcowboy:
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 23 MPH...


Nothing develops at that speed unless maybe it's baroclinic - this isn't, obviously. Competing vortices and still dealing with dry air. Not looking good for Ernesto yet. Doesn't matter how much TCHP there is without significant slowing of forward speed - not happening.

Ernesto can still pull it together, but it's looking less and less potent, major likely very doubtful. At that clip it'll run out of liquid real estate before it can entertain any sort or real turn more northwards.

It will take a while to realign the circulation. Since it's still moving so fast, I doubt it will happen in time for anything more than a TS.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
i looked at some gfs models and one shows florence disipating and days later come back alive off east coast then gordon would be behind florence. therefore florence would go north east making a ridge that would turn gordon north east too..similar to floyd and gert from the 1999 season except florence wouldnt hit the east coast
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Ernesto Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop
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Quoting mobileshadow:


Taz that's not very nice considering you said that it had no chance to go to Mexico and wasn't going to weaken and undergo RI. Take care



and i still dont see it going too MX
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


So because a few people are affected in that way, then no one should be allowed to play these games?

Sorry you are sacrificing billions because of the actions of very few. If you don't want your kid playing these games, THEN DON'T LET THEM PLAY IT!!

I do not recall I said "DO NOT PLAY THE GAMES" Did I?? You seem to have grown up to a stable 34 years old. I think many young people are unstable and are easily influenced by their environment... TV and videos are one example.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



why not you shut it all ready


Taz that's not very nice considering you said that it had no chance to go to Mexico and wasn't going to weaken and I am still waiting for it to undergo RI. Take care
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PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 23 MPH...


Nothing develops at that speed unless maybe it's baroclinic - this isn't, obviously. Competing vortices and still dealing with dry air. Not looking good for Ernesto yet. Doesn't matter how much TCHP there is without significant slowing of forward speed - not happening.

Ernesto can still pull it together, but it's looking less and less potent, major likely very doubtful. At that clip it'll run out of liquid real estate before it can entertain any sort of real turn more northwards.
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Quoting mobileshadow:
As I have been saying for days it's going to Mexico :) Have a nice day and go USA!!!!



Look at the TVCN.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Sup mississippi hows my favorite blogger who I never have a disagreement with ever.


Lol. Howdy.

I'm alright, just a little discouraged. This blogger is probably going to take a break from the blog for a while after Ernie is through. This week has been nuts.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Those arent the 18z



nop there not
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323. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting Chicklit:
The latest wind shear analysis shows low shear of 5 - 10 knots affecting the storm, but there must be some wind shear the satellites are not able to detect affecting Ernesto, given its disorganized appearance. -- JM

Dr. Masters didn't realize that the CIMSS shear map hasn't updated since 10 p.m. EST Saturday.

Link Shear Map


Thanks, I changed this to:

"The latest wind shear analysis from the SHIPS model shows moderate shear of 10 - 15 knots affecting the storm,"

Jeff Masters
Quoting mobileshadow:


Post #302 and they didn't shift north at all


Those arent the 18z
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Umm..... yeah..


The thing is... The current pattern and trends supports this. The next storm may be a big one.
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.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
101.. So because you have not been affected, your point is everyone should not be.... I still disagree. You are only one of millions


So because a few people are affected in that way, then no one should be allowed to play these games?

Sorry you are sacrificing billions because of the actions of very few. If you don't want your kid playing these games, THEN DON'T LET THEM PLAY IT!!

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Quoting MississippiWx:


Link? Pic? Something?


Post #302 and they didn't shift north at all
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ATCF says Ernesto is hanging in there (for now):

AL, 05, 2012080518, , BEST, 0, 152N, 779W, 45, 1006, TS, 34, NEQ, 110, 80, 0, 30, 1010, 180, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, ERNESTO, M,
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Judging from the latest satellite animation, it seems as though the top part of Ernesto's convection is firing an arm-like burst and reaching out to grab that circulation that's trying to run away from it. Again.
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314. yoboi
hey patrap i have an important question what time is the saints game????
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Link? Pic? Something?


Sup mississippi hows my favorite blogger who I never have a disagreement with ever.
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...SPECIAL FEATURES...

TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO IS CENTERED NEAR 15.2N 77.9W AT 05/1800
UTC OR ABOUT 178 NM SSW OF KINGSTON JAMAICA AND ABOUT 308 NM E
OF CABO GRACIAS A DIOS ON THE NICARAGUA/HONDURAS BORDER MOVING W
AT 20 KT. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WIND SPEED IS 45 KT WITH GUSTS TO 55 KT. WIDELY
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS COVER THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN BASIN
BETWEEN 70W-80W N OF 12N...INCLUDING JAMAICA...PORTIONS OF
SOUTHERN COAST OF CUBA AND INLAND PORTIONS OF THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC AND HAITI. SEE LATEST NHC INTERMEDIATE PUBLIC ADVISORY
UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCPAT5/ WTNT35 KNHC AND THE FULL
FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO MIATCMAT5/WTNT25 KNHC FOR MORE
DETAILS.

TROPICAL STORM FLORENCE IS CENTERED NEAR 16.5N 35.6W AT 05/1500
UTC OR ABOUT 669 NM W OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS MOVING W AT 12
KT. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1001 MB. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WIND SPEED IS 50 KT WITH GUSTS TO 60 KT. SCATTERED
WEAK TO MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM 15N-20N BETWEEN 35W-40W. SEE
LATEST NHC FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO MIATCMAT1/WTNT21
KNHC FOR MORE DETAILS.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


34 years old

I played those games when I was a teenager and have so for over 20 years

Never had the slightest though to going and killing anyone, sorry this argument of yours doesn't fly.
101.. So because you have not been affected, your point is everyone should not be.... I still disagree. You are only one of millions
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Models shifted north significantly at 18Z.


Link? Pic? Something?
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
And how old are you 101?


34 years old

I played those games when I was a teenager and have so for over 20 years

Never had the slightest thought to going and killing anyone, sorry this argument of yours doesn't fly.
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...some strong storms headed towards Orlando and points north
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Must be easy to not make a forecast then come out and bash others who were wrong.


In general I agree...but it is rather intimidating to add to this blog when you see how arguementive some people get at each other when they don't agree! I was worried to even say I couldn't help but see Ernesto going straight to Belize the other day...but the blog moves so fast, I didn't even see if I was slayed for saying it LOL

Everytime I've come on the last few days, was surprised to see how well Ernesto was doing still, with so many forseeing weakening at least for a bit. But when i got up today wooosh. Was really hanging on there for a while!

*edit* but yes...agree shouldn't bash those who are making predictions...especially when many are really taking the time to study the charts etc before doing so...
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

give me a location


14.5N/ 75.2W
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7932
When is the next hh flight?
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Post # 265.. Largo, that's heading right at me. Time to pick up the yard a little bit I guess. On the by and by... some great conversation on the blog the last few days..... like to extend my appreciation to everyone.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I actually agree with him, I have played shoot em up violent video games in the past and I have never thought about going and shooting someone and I am sure there are billions of others in this world that agree.

Blaming video games is an excuse and a really bad one, the issues with these shootings are so much deeper than that.
And how old are you 101?
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As I have been saying for days it's going to Mexico :) Have a nice day and go USA!!!!

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Quoting mynameispaul:


Making erroneous forecasts isn't a constructive contribution to this blog. I usually just post various graphs and charts that I feel haven't been posted which might add to the weather discussion. To make bad forecasts is just useless. Doesn't add much to the content of the blog imo. The pros are paid to make forecasts and they have the best assets to do that with.


well that is your opinion, still doesn't give you the right IMO to come out and bash everyone
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Stormtracker2k..you lurking?...you ok over there?.....................Special Weather Statement

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
219 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012

FLZ045-046-051900-
ORANGE-SEMINOLE-
219 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012

...A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR STRONG WIND GUSTS
BETWEEN 45 AND 55 MPH OVER CENTRAL ORANGE COUNTY...WESTERN SEMINOLE
COUNTY...

* UNTIL 300 PM EDT.

AT 217 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
STORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG WIND GUSTS OVER UNION PARK...MOVING
NORTHWEST AT 15 MPH.

LOCATIONS IN THE PATH OF THE STORM WHICH MAY EXPERIENCE STRONG WINDS
INCLUDE FERN PARK AND GOLDENROD

THE PRIMARY THREAT WILL BE FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING
STRIKES AND GUSTY WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH...WHICH CAN CAUSE UNSECURED
OBJECTS TO BLOW AROUND...SNAP TREE LIMBS OR CAUSE POWER OUTAGES.
HEAVY RAINFALL WILL TEMPORARILY REDUCE VISIBILITY. SEEK SHELTER
INDOORS UNTIL THE STORM PASSES.

LAT...LON 2864 8146 2871 8146 2880 8133 2857 8109
2843 8123
TIME...MOT...LOC 1818Z 147DEG 19KT 2857 8124

$$

SEDLOCK
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Models shifted north significantly at 18Z.
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Quoting tennisgirl08:


As I stated before, the GFDL model plots are much more in line with tracks from analog years similar to 2012.

I think Ernesto could very well dissipate, but I also think it could very well slightly strengthen and move more northernly than expected. 50/50 at this point.
..yes indeed..this is going to be a long drawn out watch week ahead
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Here is the wave now in Central Africa that GFS has developing.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14338
Quoting LargoFl:


As I stated before, the GFDL model plots are much more in line with tracks from analog years similar to 2012.

I think Ernesto could very well dissipate, but I also think it could very well slightly strengthen and move more northernly than expected. 50/50 at this point.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Anyone else notice the MLC of Ernesto is catching up to LLC and maybe become the dominant center.

Link

give me a location
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12164
Quoting wxchaser97:

Very slowly building convection, slowly organizing may not help with crossing the Yucatan, but I think Ernesto can make it.


Off the coast of MX, LOCATED ABOUT 475 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
ACAPULCO.

hmm??? maybe a different system or the same since the chart I showed was out to 180 hours.
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I'll just repeat what I've been saying for the past three days. My observatons are based on watching and tracking tropical systems for the last 50 years.

1. Never trust satellite presentation, especially for relatively weak tropical storms. It's impossible to know how vertically stacked a storm is from a satellite view from above. When HH's keep going in and finding weakness or no change, that's a bad sign for storm survival, regardless of how pretty it looks on satellite.

2. Storms can do one of two things. They can ether move fast or they can organize and become stronger. A tropical storm, especially in the southern Caribbean, can't do both, with rare exceptions. Ernesto never significantly slowing down has been a clue for three days.

3. Don't underestimate the effect of trade winds in the Caribbean. They are exceptionally strong, even when it's not being picked up by satellite or other observatons. I've sailed this area many times over the past 30 years, and the strength of the trade winds always caught me off guard.

4. Always look north before deciding what a tropical storm might do. A strong ridge over the midwest ot southeast will always squash a tropical storm and keep it moving west. Even a small weaknees in the ridge has almost no effect. A strong low pressure trough to the north should get your attention, but that has never been the case with Ernesto.

5. There's always more dry air at sea in the southern Caribbean than what's picked up by WV loops or other analysis. Those trade winds alone tend to suck dry air in from the north and west, and the subsiding trade winds farther to the east always provides a pool of dry air that's never correctly analyzed.

I'm not any smarter than anyone else here, but enough years does show repeating patterns. My best guess is that Ernesto will make landfall near the Belize/Honduras border as a moderate TS. I think the chances of it getting back into the BOC and regenerating are near zero.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Naga.... Can you give us a few facts about video games not related to violence? I disagree with your statement


I actually agree with him, I have played shoot em up violent video games in the past and I have never thought about going and shooting someone and I am sure there are billions of others in this world that agree.

Blaming video games is an excuse and a really bad one, the issues with these shootings are so much deeper than that.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
So far, north of all the models.

..well we need to keep an eye on him UNTIL the NHC declares ernesto officially dead..i dont see that happening...he has a long way to go yet..in warm waters and he looks to be headed for the gulf where he can and maybe will..reform and maybe..go to cat-1...this not today tomorrow or the next day..this is way into next week, so looking at him today means nothing..come next FRIDAY..we will see what happens
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Anyone else notice the MLC of Ernesto is catching up to LLC and maybe become the dominant center.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7932
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Problem with that theory is those who you have on ignore are likely the ones who have the most to offer this blog. Again what gives you the right then to come in after the fact and bash someone for being wrong at something as inexact as weather?



Making erroneous forecasts isn't a constructive contribution to this blog. I usually just post various graphs and charts that I feel haven't been posted which might add to the weather discussion. To make bad forecasts is just useless. Doesn't add much to the content of the blog imo. The pros are paid to make forecasts and they have the best assets to do that with.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
12z ECMWF 72 hrs, 1003mb TS landfall into the Yucatan.


I find it kind of odd that the Euro has shown nothing with this storm the last few days, but just as Ernesto starts to look terrible, it intensifies it in its forecast
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Quoting Naga5000:


It has nothing to do with video games and more to do with societal stress and lack of access to mental health care and a weak mental health care infrastructure. We are a violent society, we live in a culture of violence, do not blame video games or any fictional media for this, they are just one small part that is a representation of culture and replicated in culture, not a cause.
Naga.... Can you give us a few facts about video games not related to violence? I disagree with your statement
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12z ECMWF 72 hrs, 1003mb TS landfall into the Yucatan.
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So far, north of all the models.

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Quoting LargoFl:

right you see where the TS is and you see where the models is expect a modle shif and and track shift to the N and E
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12164

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.